Two men accused in a deadly crime spree that left three people dead and three others injured between July 9 and July 11 were charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Monday.
D.A. Todd Spitzer, who has described the crimes as “a reign of terror,” announced the charges against 20-year-old Malike Patt and 44-year-old Jason Payne of Los Angeles during a news conference.
“Malike Patt is a stone cold serial killer … He executed innocent people and he shot others … It’s chilling,” Spitzer said.
Patt is facing three charges of special circumstances murder, as well as attempted murder and robbery charges.
Investigators believe Patt and Payne robbed six 7-Eleven stores and a doughnut shop across San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties during a five-hour span on July 11.
Steve Paul’s son, 44-year-old Jason Harrel, is another one of the victims. Harrel was shot as he left a 7-Eleven store in Riverside one week ago.
“Jason didn’t try to intervene or anything. He walked out the door. The guy came up behind him, put a bullet in the back of his head,” Paul said
Harrell, a father of three, is now partially paralyzed, blinded in one eye and likely will need medical care for the rest of his life.
Investigators also said that Patt is responsible for a killing in the North Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles during a robbery on July 9.
Payne is believed to be an accomplice in the crimes but investigators do not think he shot any of the victims.
He is facing several charges, including three for felony robbery, but is not being charged with murder.
Spitzer said recent laws have made it more difficult to charge accomplices with murder when they did not fire the weapon.
Spitzer also said his office will be handling the Los Angeles County murder case.
In a statement to KTLA, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office explained that they were not aware of the Orange County D.A.’s intention to file murder charges involving the L.A. incident.
“LAPD Operations Valley Bureau has been the lead investigative agency on the North Hills homicide and anticipated presenting the criminal case to LADA once the investigation was complete,” the statement read.
Patt and Payne were arrested on July 15 following an extensive manhunt.
Law enforcement did not provide details about their arrests but said “technology” played a role in the apprehension and the suspects.
The defendants are expected to appear in court Tuesday.
The family of Jason Harrel have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his ongoing medical care.